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latter of which can be problematic during installation. Marble requires special cleaning products, too, and yearly sealing. “After a relatively short time, marble can look like it is a hundred years old,” Schroeder adds, counseling clients who want the grand look of marble to consider quartz, with one small caveat: “Marble is good for baking because it’s cold and nice for rolling dough,” says Schroeder. Can’t live without marble in your kitchen? Use it on an island, or a section of an island.

SOAPSTONE

Photography courtesy of Caesarstone.

Photography by Rob Rosenwinkel and courtesy of Kirkwood Stair.

This natural stone is beautiful and superb at resisting heat damage and bacteria. Homeowners, though, should be prepared for upfront maintenance. Soapstone is delivered in its natural state; if you don’t oil it regularly, every splash and touch will leave its mark; over time – especially around countertop edges. Oily buildup can permanently alter soapstone counters. “Oiling darkens the soapstone, and eventually it will become seasoned so you’ll only have to oil it once a year to maintain the rich color,” Schroeder explains. Homeowners who are after that “vintage, Old English look,” as Schroeder puts it, often find that few materials compete with soapstone.

WOOD

Decorative, functional and easy to install, wood surfaces are gaining traction in contemporary kitchens. “It’s a beautiful look,” Schroeder says, noting that wood offers “something different for the eye.” Keep in mind, though, that wood is going to scratch. “You have to be okay with that,” Schroeder says. Wood counters make cooking a breeze. Properly sealed, they’re sanitary, even for chopping meat. “Cut directly on wood, clean it with soap and water, and remember to oil your prep areas,” Schroeder advises. Similar to marble, Schroeder often recommends wood counters in small doses: “Use quartz for your main counter spaces, and incorporate a small raised section that’s wood,” Schroeder recommends. With all the beautiful styles and options at your finge tips, it can be hard to decide on just one. Mixing and matching surfaces is an option to get the best of both worlds. See www.stlouishomesmag.com for resources and additional photos.

STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM JAN/FEB 2017

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January/February 2017  

Killer Kitchens. 25 pages of kitchen inspiration.

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